The Question Is: Who Are You Willing to Disappoint?

I attended an amazing blogging conference here in Nashville last weekend at Opryland Gaylord Hotel.  This is the 5th year of Blissdom, an annual event that celebrates and encourages women to pursue their dreams.


The opening keynote speaker was Jon Acuff, author of Quitter.  My biggest take-away from his speech:  decide who it is you’re willing to disappoint.  Is it going to be your clients, your readers, your family?  Because it’s gonna be somebody – make sure you decide who you’d rather it be.

Signed Copy of Jon Acuff’s Quitter


That hit home with me bigtime.    I’m a pleaser.   I want to answer every request from every client,  squeeze in every would-be client into my over-booked schedule,  answer every email  and every comment /question from a reader.  I often choose to do those things even when the result is disappointing my 7-year-old daughter who wants me to read her a chapter from Little House in the Big Woods.   How could I  choose to disappoint those I love the most rather than to disappoint a complete stranger?  Wow. Heavy way to start a conference  . . .  but hey, look at all the cool swag I got (sorry, I needed a little relief here before I start sobbing)!

Blissdom 2012 Swag


Besides Jon Acuff’s book, a few of my favorite items were these cute and extremely comfy Dr. Scholl sneakers from Famous Footwear.

Thanks, Famous Footwear!


And my kids are loving this hands-free stainless soap dispenser provided by Simple Human.

Hands-free!  No Germs!


Centrum provided vitamins and supplements specific to my needs based on an online test I took on-site.  Gee, do I have to start worrying about brittle bones already?

About $100 worth of Vitamins and Supplements


This T-Shirt reminded us of how very important social media is today in the world of blogging.  Like we didn’t already know that!

Please “Like” Me on Facebook (Shameless Plug) 

Thanks to Blissdom and the Bliss Chicks for a wonderful conference and a fun weekend with like-minded ladies.  Now I’m going to go read to my daughter – don’t get mad if I haven’t returned your email yet . . .


  1. Amy

    I couldn’t agree more, Kristie! Some things are eternal, most things are not. Enjoy your time with that precious girl!!

  2. Holly

    Aw, this social media thing is crazy, isn’t it? Awesome but crazy. I thought I read somewhere (maybe Twitter?) that you were at Blissdom. A few local blog friends that I know were down there. Sounds like a great experience for you. Whew, and this is some way to start a conference. I don’t want to disappoint anyone either – especially my family. But how do we try to cram everything in? I guess we’re all trying to figure out that thing they call balance, huh? It’s tough. REally tough. I always think about what’s next in social media – did they talk about that at all at your conference?

    • Kristie Barnett

      Social media is still so new – we are the first generation, trying to navigate it all and balance all the new opportunities/time sucks out there. The hardest part for me is drawing boundaries for myself – I could (and often do) work 14 + hours a day. There’s no such thing as 9 to 5 in this new world, is there? It’s always on, there’s always something else you could/should be doing, UGH. Trying to learn to say “no.”

  3. Kelly

    Therre is no 9-5 hours- that is so true! I too find my time being sucked away. I sometimes wwork until 1 am and still not finish. Social media- I can go on and on about it!
    I want those sneakers! How cute are they?!

  4. Sheila Zeller

    This article comes at an interesting time… timing they say, right? I’ve been sensing a reset with the blogs I follow, and have also been doing some inward checking in myself. Maybe it’s virtual spring cleaning, maybe it’s not, but you have shared something very important to figure out. Thank you for that… And aren’t those Little House books awesome? I read the series when I was about 12, back when the TV show was just brand new. Somehow this feels very symbolic of the changes we are facing in our world from ‘the time when’ to ‘our time new’… Navigating this journey responsibly is the key, or we will lose so much in our quest to master something new, and in the end ?

    • Kristie Barnett

      interesting, sheila. you are thinking deep thoughts, i am just feeling guilty 😉

  5. Dana Tucker

    I can totally relate to this post. I have been pulled in so many directions for so long that my family is paying the price. Someone asked the other day, “if you could have a year off of work with pay, what would you do?” My answer: “Get to know my kids”. That is so sad!!!! I am in the process of correcting my work/life balance. I just have to let some things go. I’m with you sister.


  6. Linda Kinsman

    Great swag, great post! I have been a work at home Mom for over 12 years now and I do strive to put family 1st, but just last night I didn’t read to my youngest daughter so I could get my JAFRA order processed. Ugh… mom guilt, it is the worst feeling! I’m right there with you Kristie!

  7. Daphne Buckingham

    Hi Friends
    I’m not a blogger, just a reader–I’m selective and “The Decorologist” is one of my faves….It provides some “eye candy” when I’m needing a lift.
    I read through some of your posts about this whole “learning to say no” issue and I can assure you that it’s a uniquely feminine issue…men don’t stress about such things because they instinctively know how to prioritize and they don’t waste time suffering over their choices. They move on.
    I’m fifty-two and I have a beautiful 22-year-old daughter. I spent a lot of my life in angst because I tried to be a pleaser. I wanted to be everything to everyone. I tried pleasing my siblings, my parents and friends, my husband and co-workers, bosses, employees, I did it all. I will not go into the sordid details and the disappointments but I will tell you that I managed to pull myself together in time to watch my daughter develop into a beautiful butterfly. And I can tell you with conviction that you can’t please everyone. It’s a fact. Here is my advice, for what it is worth.
    If you have to try too hard with someone, it isn’t worth it.
    If people don’t understand when you say no, then scream no and slam that door. Even though slamming is unladylike. I consider myself a lady, and some of my best moments involved slamming doors.
    If you are worried about being rejected, then it is time to search your soul.
    Whenever it’s a choice between your family and something else, the choice is always the family.
    Whenever you think your family is not needing you, you are suffering delusions.
    Be ready when your child , out of the blue, says “I have a question.” You don’t need to know the answer, you just need to be there to listen. Drop whatever else is in your hands–because if you always say you are too busy, they will start asking someone else.
    Stop trying to equate your identity with how everyone else sees you. You have no control over that.
    If a person is prickly, they will prick you. Stay away from them.
    Finally, cherish every moment with your child/children/partner.
    Consider the old proverb: “Fools’ names and fools’ faces are often found in public places.”
    About social media, consider it the salad fork. It has a purpose, if one is served salad. But don’t use it for your main meal.
    Life is short. Put your arms around it.
    Life is

  8. Paula Van Hoogen

    Thanks, Kristie, for being transparent and sharing the struggle we all have for sanity, balance and especially, relationships with our families. Lately I’ve discovered that it’s that first hour (before it’s light,)
    spent with our Creator and asking Him to sort out my day, that has made the biggest difference.
    Not saying every day is perfect–I still screw up—but it just seems like all the parts of myself come back together during that quiet time! It is TOTALLY worth getting up before everyone else and luxuriating in the peace! Hope you’ll try it….. Prayer still works :).

  9. Kelly

    Great topic of conversation- could go one infinitely!

    A suggestion- perhaps remove that word “disappoint” from your internal dialogue? I feel like that inevitably leads to a feeling of guilt. Especially to us pleaser types. Why does it have to be about disappointment? And why would you even be responsible for that feeling with your clients and blog readers? You know you work hard. And you are very talented. I find it hard to believe you could disappoint either group, even if you said no once in awhile.

    Maybe, the answer is to focus on what makes you feel good. A friend of mind recently told me she does a “shackle test” to determine whether or not to agree to something. If you feel like you are wearing shackles when you picture yourself committing to something, then you need to say no. It’s pretty simple, really, and has helped me tremendously.

  10. Lisa

    Such cool stuff you got. Thank you for introducing me to the book Quitter. It’s perfect for where I am in my life right now-not able to quit my day job, but wanting to follow my dream.


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